GRID Alternatives


GRID Alternatives' International Program (formerly Power to the People) addresses a critical energy access gap in rural communities in Nicaragua, Nepal, and Mexico by bringing solar power to schools, health clinics, homes, farms, orphanages, and small businesses.

Travel with us!
GRID provides opportunities to travel with us to Nicaragua or Nepal to gain a first-hand view of our international work in action while supporting sustainable rural electrification projects. You'll work alongside community members to install off-grid solar power, while experiencing full immersion in rural life and local culture. Program activities are designed for a deep experience that helps individuals understand more about global issues while learning about energy access solutions. Corporate and student experiences are also available. Pack your bags and join us for a week-long journey that will transform a community and change your life!



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Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic Trip with P2TP!

I traveled to Nicaragua with Power to the People in July 2013. Our solar installation was in a community called Santa Ana, about 45 minutes south of Granada. Our time in the community was a really special experience; one that I never would have been able to have as a traditional tourist. The people were warm and welcoming, and the children were absolutely wonderful! We stayed in people's homes, which were very basic, but it was a great opportunity to see how people in many parts of the world live, without all of the comforts that we consider necessary in more developed countries. In spite of having so little in the way of material items, there was no shortage of smiles and laughter, and fun times with the volunteers.

The solar installation went well--we spent two and a half days on the installation, and finally, there was light! Enough for two classrooms and the school cafeteria. We installed enough power outlets for the school to have a computer lab, and P2TP had partnered with Children's Wellness Fund, another non-profit doing work in Nicaragua, who are going to donate computers to the school. We held two workshops on our last day--one for the children, to teach them about solar energy, and one for the adults, to teach them how to maintain the system.

For our time outside of the community, our trip leaders had organized a lot of fun activities, including a trip to the chocolate museum in Granada, where we spent two hours making our own chocolate bars from scratch (yum!), taking a petroglyph tour on Ometepe, ziplining, and having some down time on the beach on Lake Nicaragua.

I loved this trip, and plan to do another one next year. Highly recommend!

What would you improve about this program?
Can't think of anything...
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Yes, I recommend this program

Authentic & Rewarding Life Experience

I went with Power to the People to help instal a solar system on a rural school on Isla Zapatera in Lake Nicaragua. The entire experience was wonderful and very rewarding.

The island is off-grid, and when we arrived, by "launcha", the school's teacher and students were waiting on the beach to welcome us with a homemade banner and song. That moment was priceless.

The community was extremely warm and gracious - and very grateful for the solar system, which was going to allow them to use computers in the classrooms, and have lights so that they could hold evening classes for adults.

We stayed nearby in a beautiful lakefront "eco-lodge". It was extremely charming and comfortable, while still being appropriately rustic. During the day we worked to install the system with the PT2P team and some locals. Everyone was able to participate to the degree that they wished, and there were many opportunities to interact with the community members, and to learn about solar systems. After wrapping up each day in the late afternoon, we swam, lounged around the lodge, and visited some nearby households.

After completing the work & inaugurating the local committee responsible for maintaining the system, the entire community showed up for a ribbon cutting ceremony. The first light switch was thrown, they plugged in the music and the celebration began! Both the children and adults were amazingly kind and joyful and lavished us with gratitude, camaraderie, and entertainment - and dancing!

When we returned to the U.S., we received this email:

Dear friends I am the teacher from santa Maria Zapatera, in this moment I am in the school , we have internet is increible but true,
thank you for to be good people, recive our greeting , good luck with you, God bless you.

Before and after the installation, we spent a few days traveling and visiting some "off the beaten path" destinations. Our guides, the food, and the lodgings were all superb.

What an amazing experience!!

What would you improve about this program?
Tough to think of anything...
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Yes, I recommend this program

Solar Install in Aqua Fria Review

We stayed at Seeds of Learning Center in Matagalpa while we volunteered. Not actually a Hostel, but very similar. Accomodations were comfortable and safe with warm showers and nice beds. There was a group of about 10 of us, staying in shared rooms. We installed a solar system on a school in a nearby very small community (Agua Fria) that had no power or running water and drove back and forth each day. After the install, we visited a rain forest at a place called Selva Negra, where we went hiking several days. The sights and sounds were breathtaking! More info on the trip can be found at: The most rewarding moment (among many moments) was when I was able to take a break from the solar installation work, sit in a classroom full of children, and teach them origami. They were so hungry to learn, so eager to hear me say, "bueno!" to each of them as I confirmed their origami creation was beautiful. It was at that moment I knew what we were doing here was more than just solar, we were bonding with a community, sharing our cultures and world, and that is deeply significant.

What would you improve about this program?
Expand the program to destinations other than just Nicaragua. The program itself is amazing, but I want to see more than one country, so I would love if this program expanded to other destinations so I could participate again and again.


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